Publication Details

Cambourne, B. L. & Turbill, J. B. (2007). Looking back to look forward: understanding the present by revisiting the past: an Australian perspective. International Journal of Progressive Education, 3 (2), 8-29.


Cambourne and Turbill trace the growth, change and finally marginalisation of progressive approaches to literacy education by examining whole language philosophy in Australia from the 1960s to the present. Using a critical lens, Cambourne and Turbill describe how whole language has been positioned throughout the last nearly 50 years in terms of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. Cambourne and Turbill offer a personal history of whole language in Australia and draw connections of the educational changes occurring in their country to other western democracies. Their insights are valuable in order to examine other grass roots programs and to better understand how politics impact educational movements.

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